Windows 8 Unity Hackathon!

As of writing I’ve just arrived home from the London. Microsoft’s Lee Scott and Simon Michael organised a two day (15 hour) hackathon, where we have the goal of making a simple and fun game in Unity for Windows 8, all part of the Windows Games Ambassador Scheme.

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All this took place at Modern Jago, one of the Microsoft establishments for app developers to work on titles and get advice for their work. The layout of the place, as well as the design is very artistic and clever, and they have a lot of tech to play around with, including a 9 panel screened Xbox 360!

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After an overview on what all the ambassadors have been up to and what games they’ve made, we also got shown what things Unity have that will make it possible for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 development.

Then it was on with the hackathon, we got into pairs and started building! I worked with fellow games ambassador Ben Beagley for our game.

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In the evening, we finished of our day by eating out at the Giraffe, which had brilliant food. We also went to a small pub to talk about Windows Phone apps we’ve downloaded or made.

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And so the first day ended, we went to our hotel, which is probably the highest quality places I’ve ever spend the night in, the Andaz hotel! While I may have decided to cool down and go to sleep after midnight, some of the other guys decided to make it the opportunity to do more work.

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On the beginning of the second day, we had breakfast and went straight back to our games, we only had a few hours to put in as many features as possible! Luckily Pizza was on hand for us to eat part of the way through.

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The hackathon ended at around 4pm, we all went up to show off our games, and we all voted on each other to decide on what game shall win the top prize of the event! In a surprising turn of events, the winners were Ben and me! Our game, Gridlocked (working title) impressed the other ambassadors with it’s simple and colourful design, smooth controls, neat camera effects and well implemented Windows 8 features such as LiveTiles and Charms. Each of us got the top prize, a Microsoft Developer Kinect! Check out our game in action. We hope to continue our collaboration to complete it and release it on the Windows Store in the future!

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So today was a brilliant time, it’s great seeing all the ambassadors again.

For future updates, I’m currently working on a game for the Construct2 GameJam on Newgrounds. It doesn’t have a title yet, and I’m looking for an artist for it, but once I get some more information to show I’ll announce it here and on my Facebook page! Sadly any other projects will be going at a slow pace because of assignment work, but I’ll make sure they won’t stop!

In the meantime, check out what some of the other ambassadors thought of today’s hackathon here: (I’ll add some more links when they come online)

Josh Naylor

Ben Beagley

Michael Cameron

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